SPORTS

Riders' Brendon LaBatte named CFL's outstanding lineman award winner

11/21/2013 09:41 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
REGINA - Guard Brendon LaBatte of the Saskatchewan Roughriders is the CFL's outstanding lineman.

LaBatte captured the honour Thursday at the CFL's awards banquet.

Centre Jeff Keeping of the Toronto Argonauts was the other finalist in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada and eight CFL head coaches.

The six-foot-four, 323-pound LaBatte was a division finalist for the first time in his six-year CFL career. The 27-year-old native of Weyburn, Sask., anchored an offensive line that paved the way for Kory Sheets, the CFL’s second-leading rusher with 1,598 yards, as the Riders were second in league rushing (128.8 yards per game) and allowed 57 sacks, third-fewest overall.

LaBatte and the Riders face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Grey Cup game Sunday at Mosaic Stadium.

Keeping, a six-foot-five, 291-pound native of Uxbridge, Ont., also earned his first career nomination. The 31-year-old centred a Toronto offensive line that helped quarterback Ricky Ray complete a league-record 77.2 per cent of his passes and the Argos lead the CFL in passing (300.3 yards per game).

The last time the top lineman finalists were both Canadian was in 2008 when Scott Flory and Gene Makowsky were honoured.

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